Multicultural Talent Is Surging on TV and Winning Mainstream Audiences

A long-awaited shift

Hardly anyone was more surprised than Dana Walden at the ratings surge Fox midseason entrant Empire enjoyed following its Jan. 7 debut. She expected a lift but not to the degree it did shoot up. But Walden, co-chairman and co-CEO of the Fox Television Group, wasn't alone—each week, the entire TV industry let out a gasp of surprise as Empire's young adult demos kept climbing to north of a 5, territory so few shows ever see.